Central England Co-op combats crime with new safety measures

'We are doing everything in our power to combat crime in our communities and keep people safe when they shop'

Central England Co-operative has launched a range of security measures in its food stores amid rising concern in the retail industry over criminal attacks.

After a review of store security, the society says it has improved existing measures and introduced new ones to show criminals that targeting its stores is not “worth the risk”.

Improvements include specialist tracking devices on a range of items from cigarettes to ATMs which directly lead the police to criminals. There has also been a change to closing times and a review of the way security guards are used.

A centrally monitored CCTV system now enables colleagues to call for assistance at the touch of a button, which alerts a special control room where operators can watch what is happening on CCTV and call for immediate assistance from the emergency services.

The retailer’s loss prevention team has been working closely with ATM provider Cardtronics to implement additional security measures to prevent the internal safe from opening if gas or explosives are used

And external motion detectors have been installed outside food stores, to be used outside of trading hours. When activated, they switch on CCTV cameras, allowing operators to monitor the situation and act if it escalates.

Craig Goldie, loss prevention advisor at Central England, said: “We are doing everything in our power to combat crime in our communities and keep people safe when they shop.

Related: What are co-ops doing to tackle security concerns?

“We’re aware robberies and ATM thefts are frightening for store colleagues, who are our first priority. We are doing all we can to prevent incidents like these, but if something does happen, we offer them support and counselling.

“Now we have put in place new and improved tools to work with the police and partners to help bring the perpetrators to justice. And we want our message to be clear – it is not worth the risk to target Central England Co-operative food stores.”

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